Always Keep Your Bowler on in Times of Stress

Patrick Macnee died one month ago.

I didn’t write anything at the time, as wasn’t really been sure what to write. On the one hand, 93 is a good innings. He died peacefully with his family with him. It’s just that I thought he’d live for ever. And in a way, through John Steed, he will.

But I still want to mark his passing. He was a huge influence on me. Macnee effectively created the character of John Steed, the man he played over the course of 16 years in over 180 episodes of The Avengers and its sequel. Intensely serious in his loyalty to friends and duty, unswerving in his enjoyment of life and adventure. Reserved, ruthless even, but also kind and caring. I’ve written elsewhere about how under his influence in my adolescence I wore three piece suits in the sweltering heat of summer. Perhaps only Wodehouse and Robert B. Parker have created characters who I hold in such high esteem.

Macnee finished the work which I admire so much almost 40 years ago. But I was always happy to know he was still around, twirling his brolly out in Palm Springs.

Always keep your bowler on in times of stress.
And watch out for diabolical masterminds.

Goodbye Patrick.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See for more...

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